Illegal Trail Building
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, El Paso County Parks and the US Forest Service Pikes Peak Ranger District released a joint statement to bring awareness of the destructive impact of illegal trails. In pockets of public land across the region, unauthorized trail building is taking place with disastrous effects on the landscape. Illegal trails lead to increased erosion, wildlife habitat disruption, costly restoration work and safety concerns. Colorado Springs Park Staff recently mapped around 60 miles of illegal trails in Red Rock Open Space and announced the closure and restoration of 3 miles of illegal trails, at a cost of $25,000, in Austin Bluffs Open Space. The main concern for public officials are not the visitors who accidently wander down an old deer trail, they are concerned about the people who are brining tools and purposely build their own illegal trails. When illegal trail builders are caught, they are subject to fines. For visitors to public lands, it is important to use system trails to ensure that your adventure will leave the least impact on our natural resources. Official system trails can be found and verified on maps at trailheads, official trail apps like COTREX and on agency websites.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Homestead Ranch Regional Park
Thanks to park staff for leading a great hike on the property last week. Good questions and comments from participants, the group was treated to a pleasant walk with nice views. Homestead Ranch is a treasure and the proposed master plan plays to its strengths and preserves the property. There’s still time to learn more and share your opinion: Park Planning Webpage
Lost Trails, Lost Tails by Eric Swab
Our favorite Trails Historian Eric Swab offers us another glimpse of how early residents and visitors explored the region. Burros were a popular form of “trail transportation” and Eric shares details of what traversing trails on the back of a burro was like.
A pat on the back to these great stewards of our public spaces! Local resident Sam Clopton and a group of eight came out in early May and picked up trash between the north end of Shooks Run and Pikes Peak Greenway Trail at Van Buren Street and Beacon Street. When groups like Sam’s pitch in, our trails look so much better. Thank you!
Temporary Closure of Manitou Incline
July 17 & Sept. 17-18
The Manitou Incline will temporarily close during the Barr Trail Mountain Race on Sunday, July 17, 6:00 – 11:00 AM. Also on Saturday, Sept. 17, 6:00 – 9:00 AM and Sunday, Sept. 18, all day; for the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent. For more information on the Incline, visit www.trailsandopenspaces.org/trails/the-manitou-incline.
Also, please note Barr Camp is closed until July 1st because of COVID.
“We’re Glad You Asked”
We love your questions and are happy to feature them in our weekly Trails Talk!
“What is happening with the ponds at Monument Valley Park?”
Thanks to voter support for 2B, there are dollars to perform a complete renovation of the two ponds at Monument Valley Park. The project bids have been released. Parks Staff hopes to have competitive bids back by next month. The plan is to clean out the bottom of both ponds, add a liner and aeration system and refill them. If all goes well we should have functioning ponds by late fall/early winter.
Currently the south pond is dry. The north pond (duck pond) is very low. Restoring the ponds and the adjacent historic wall on south pond plus improving the surrounding landscape (should there be enough funding) will remind all of us what a jewel Monument Valley Park is!
Bike to Work Day at the COS Sustainacenter
June is Bike Month in Colorado and last Wednesday TOSC rallied the support of the organizations that call the Sustainacenter work-home for Bike to Work Day. We hosted an incredibly successful breakfast station with 77 people (73 on bikes!) stopping by to enjoy the world-famous pancakes served up by our fearless leader Susan Davies. It was enjoyable engaging the many participants and gathering their feedback on our urban trail system, especially hearing their insight as to how it can be improved in the future. A shout-out to the City of Colorado Springs Bicycle Program for leading the effort, there were 36 breakfast stations throughout the city and 18 locations for an after-work stop that served over 900 total riders. It does not stop there though; you can take part in the #iBikeCOS Summer Challenge being hosted by Bike Colorado Springs from July-September, join in and you can win a prize just by pedaling!
Peak Vista Community Healthcare Centers –
Wellness Stroll at Fountain Creek Nature Center
Staff from our #GetOutGetHealthy project partner Peak Vista Community Healthcare Centers recently reached out asking for a suggested location to put on a walk for members of their Wellness Committee. Using the #GetOutSpreadOut concept, we chose the beautiful Fountain Creek Nature Center and this past Saturday provided a guided tour of the area that was enjoyed by all. We strolled the grounds taking in the many sights including white tail deer, turtles, a blue heron, and even a snake (which made the day for both the young boy and Allen!), all with minimal crowds and a very relaxed atmosphere provided by the Nature Center. You can take part in our stroll virtually by visiting the Relive video HERE and we look forward to the continued partnership getting people out to our many beautiful parks, open space, and urban trail facilities for increased overall health and well-being. Some of the best medicine around!
Black Forest Section 16
Thank you to everyone who has contributed their thoughts on Black Forest Section 16. So far, over 50 people have participated. We are still gathering responses to this survey through July 4th. The results of this public survey and the next steps in the process to protect Black Forest Section 16 will be shared in next week’s newsletter.
Sat. Aug 13, 8:30pm Walk/Run; 10:30pm Bike Ride
The 26th Starlight Spectacular is in the Garden of the Gods Park this August! Experience one of the world’s top attractions under the blanket of thousands of twinkling stars and distant city lights. Don’t miss out on live music, amazing themed rest stops, pancakes, costume contests and more!
Events like this don’t happen without amazing volunteers. Signup as a Volunteer
Every Sunday June-August, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Join Kids on Bikes for one of their amazing PopCycle Rides! These weekly rides are family friendly, all ages and abilities are welcome (Strider bikes not recommended). The ride is from America the Beautiful Park to the PopCycle Bridge; it’s 6 miles round trip along the Pikes Peak Greenway trail at a very relaxed pace with very little street crossing. Enjoy popsicles half way on what has affectionately become known as the PopCycle Bridge. All rides start at 1:00pm. Meet at America the Beautiful Park, across from the new pedestrian bridge coming from the Olympic Museum. Bring your bike, helmet and water.
More info at kidsonbikes.net
Ute Valley Park Evening Trail Crew
Wed. July 6, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
The Friends of Ute Valley Park (FUVP) have evening work sessions the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month, April through September. All tools provided. Please wear closed toed shoes and bring work gloves and water. Volunteer and get a free water bottle and T-shirt after completing 4 hours of work with Friends of Ute Valley Park.
COS Sustainability Advisory Board
This Board will provide insight on the City’s sustainability program, along with assisting in drafting sustainability-related policies and providing community awareness on exciting projects. The group will meet every other month for two hours, the group will decide to meet virtually, in-person or hybrid.
If you are passionate about something in particular like food policy or community gardening, subcommittees can be formed to focus on these efforts.
Monument Valley Park Monthly Cleanup
Sat. July 9, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Join the Friends of Monument Valley Park as they clean up the North/South Trails along the creek. Stay for one hour or three hours, whatever time you can spare will make a difference! Please bring work gloves, water and sunscreen. Trash bags and tools provided. Meet at the Mesa Parking Lot (Near the Pickleball Courts) 223 Mesa Road.
Learn more at www.fmvp.net
Black Canyon Open Space Cleanup
Sat. July 9, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Manitou Springs Police Department, Pikes Peak Trail Crew and Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful are looking for your help to remove trash and debris from the Black Canyon Open Space! This open space commonly sees illegal camps that, once abandoned, are difficult to cleanup due to their hard-to-reach location and the large amount of trash and debris that they leave behind. Please bring gloves and water and wear sturdy, protective footwear.
For more info, contact City of Manitou Springs 719-685-5481